Appropriately, I’m writing this in the middle of Hurricane Irene.
.A couple of days ago, NPR posted this quote on death by Steve Jobs.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”
Digging a bit deeper, I was able to find that the quote came from a commencement speech Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005, about a year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. By now, most people probably know that Mr. Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple last week, and there has been speculation that this may tie into his past health issues. Such a close encounter with mortality would likely make any person pause and reflect on the big picture, and why it is that we ultimately share the same destination. I empathize deeply with Mr. Jobs, Christopher Hitchens, the people of Somalia and, well, everyone, since we must all one day confront the fact that our time here is finite. Death is the ultimate equalizer.